North Carolinians Worry About Budget Cuts, Poll Finds
Seven out of 10 North Carolina residents are at least somewhat worried about across-the-board federal budget cuts as a result of sequestration, according to a Elon University poll.
A majority of respondents blame Congress for the cuts.
The live-caller telephone poll of 891 residents was conducted Feb. 24-28, and has a margin of error of 3.28 percentage points. The poll included both land lines and cellular phones.
"Seventy percent of North Carolina residents are worried about the federal budget crisis and across-the-board spending cuts," said Elon University poll director Kenneth Fernandez. "Both parties seem to share part of the blame for failing to reach an agreement to avoid sequestration."
Anxiety over the fiscal crisis varied by age group. Though the cuts will not impact Social Security or Medicare, older respondents were much more worried than younger respondents. Forty-four percent of respondents 65 and older said they were very worried about the spending cuts, while only 32 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 30 said they were very worried.
The survey found partisan differences in the level of concern over the automatic spending cuts. About 43 percent of Democrats said they were very worried compared with 34 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Independents.
When asked how worried they are about the budget cuts, 36 percent said they were very worried, 34 percent were somewhat worried, 18 percent were not too worried, 10 percent were not worried at all, and 2 percent didn't know.
Fifty four percent of respondents blame Congress, while 22 percent blame President Obama, and 17 percent said both are at fault. As for political parties, 34 percent blame Republicans for the budget crisis, 28 percent say it is the Democrats' fault, and 32 percent said neither or other.
Blame for the cuts are also reflected in presidential and congressional job approval ratings.
Forty eight percent approve of Obama, and 45 percent disapprove. As for Congress, 82 percent disapprove, and 11 percent approve.
"The president seems to be weathering the budget crisis far better than Congress," said Jason Husser, assistant director of the Elon University poll.
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